Norah of Billabong

Norah of Billabong by Mary Grant BruceNorah of Billabong

With a night in the city behind them, a pantomime and distributing gifts at the Children’s Hospital, Norah of Billabong returns for the holidays with Jean Yorke, a school friend, after a whole year away at bothersome boarding school.  The family settles back in to their station life, cattle mustering, dealing with a snake bite, a maliciously lit bushfire that destroys their house, rescuing a stolen child and the shenanigans of Jim and Wally.

The Boss needs a cattle muster

“. . . The bullocks are likely to need all our energies.  Jean, can I rely on your assistance?”

Jean nodded vigorously.  It was clear that the prospect afforded her undiluted joy.

“That’s right.  And Wally?”  Wally grinned, disdaining further answer.

“Then,” said Mr Linton, “as I presume I can count on Jim and Norah——“

“Not that they’re much use,” said Wally, despondently.  A large boot hurtled from Jim’s window, took him in the rear, and he uttered a startled yell.  Recovering his composure, he possessed himself of the missile and proceeded to swarm up the bare trunk of a tall palm, going up hand over hand, much like a monkey on a stick.  Arriving at the crown of leaves, he clung with his legs while he tied the boot firmly in with the laces.

“Bring that down, Wally, you reptile,” sang out Jim.  He made a dash for the garden, one foot encased in a sock, and, seizing a hoe, prodded vainly upwards in the climber’s direction.

“Not if I know it,” said Wally, happily.  “Looks lovely up here—like some strange tropic blossom.  Orchid Kangaroohides Jamesobium Wallistylis.  Exquisite new species, flowering once a century.  Look out Jimmy, I’m going to slide.” . . .

The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights to this story.

First Published in: 1913
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London, Melbourne and Toronto

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